Climbing to be banned on sacred Australian rock

Saul Bowman
November 2, 2017

The red monolith is in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, near Alice Springs, 1,300 miles north west of Sydney.

It chose to close the rock to climbers from October 26, 2019 - 34 years to the day since it was handed back to its traditional owners, the Anangu people, the Northern Territory News reports.

Figures from Parks Australia indicated only 16per cent of visitors climbed the rock between 2011 and 2015, down from 74per cent in the 1990s. "Let's come together; let's close it together", he said.

The park's Board of Management voted unanimously to approve the change, which has been the subject of lengthy discussion.


Tourists will be banned from climbing Uluru within two years. 'We are not stopping tourism, just this activity, ' he said.

Signs at the start of the climb ask people to abstain from going up in respect to the traditional law of the Anangu Aboriginal people, the custodians of the land.

"Instead of tourists feeling disappointed in what they can do here, they can experience the homelands with Anangu and really enjoy the fact that they learned so much more about culture". Moreover, extreme heat and a lack of toilet facilities mean that large amounts of evaporated, concentrated human urine flow into the area's waterholes whenever it rains. Thirty people have died in recent decades, a fact that the site's traditional owners reportedly find very distressing.

The board can also close the climb if it believes people will continue to visit the sacred site without being able to climb.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER